I would like to believe that in my life, I have learnt many things; some of them being very important.  One of the most important things I have learnt is to always have a project to work on.  This message was reinforced when I was young, with little reminders that 'idle hands are the devil's workshop' or more likely, 'why aren't you doing anything?'  None-the-less, I do like to work and my work regimen includes a non-stop flow of projects.

My projects seem to run the gambit from proper client work to writing to doing creative things to keeping my life organised.  Now what I find interesting is that I am able to move from project to project almost seamlessly.  I have some friends who are mystified as to why I am so project focused; but my thought is that if I didn’t have all these projects coming in and out of my life, I wouldn’t know what to do with my time.  I could probably spend a lot of time reading, but I would rather write.  I could visit museums, but would rather paint.  I could sit back and ponder the life I have chosen, but would rather work with clients.  I could just do nothing, but I like to keep busy.  And in the time since my last letter, my project chromosome has been in overdrive. 

For some reason, before I actually begin to work on a project, I am able to have quite a clear picture of what the outcome will be.  If I don’t have the clear picture, I just don’t begin.  When I was contracted in 2006 to write three books for the Telegraph, I was able to ‘see’ the completed book before I sat down and turned on my computer.  Okay, so that isn’t exactly accurate.  My computer is ALWAYS turned on, but the part about seeing the finished books before I began was spot on. 

For some time, I have had a very clear picture of something I wanted to make.  This wasn’t just another watercolour or acrylic painting, but instead it was a piece of sculpture.  A big piece of sculpture.  So after scouting around for the materials for the piece, I finally found them yesterday and today managed to finish the piece.  Now the real trick will be to move the rather large 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 meter piece a bit closer to where it will reside on the front terrace.

Then there was the relic I found when I moved into Sol y Mar.  When I moved here, I found several spiky-things hanging from various points in and outside the house.  I asked Kim what these were and she said they had been left by Naylene and Phil when they moved out a few years ago.  Looking a bit like a shrunken head with electrodes all over it, they were, according to Kim, a natural way to keep flies away during summer.  Okay, obviously this was something that was beyond my previous comprehension, but I am always open to learning new things.  And this did seem like a good project, so as summer is fast approaching, I thought I would get with it.  (Take notes; you could do this too).  Step 1: go buy some oranges and some cloves.  When I was doing my marketing today, I bought a spare bag of not-that-great-looking oranges and a bottle of clavos (cloves).  Step 2: assemble the fly-eradicator.  After putting everything away, I opened the bottle and attacked one of the oranges, inserting the clavos through the skin all around the orange.  I was going to put the clavos in the orange in some intricate pattern, but after the first 30-or-so, I decided to just stick them in wherever there was some space.  Step 3: Tie the now firmly impaled orange to a string and hang it up.  Only three easy-peasy steps.   

I was about to begin a new project the other day, but instead, thought that I deserved a vista-break and instead just admired the view from the sitting-room terrace just as the clouds that preceded a serious storm blackened the skies.


a stimulating environment for projects



"Esteban Tenia Razon"


one of Naylene's fly eradicator replacements



massive storm front moving through

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, James B. Rieley